Saturday, August 20, 2005

Pro-Immigrant Rights Rally Sept. 17 in Austin

Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005

Students, Friends, and Colleagues,

What strikes me is the license that any congressman feels he has in order to make the following statement: "If you pick up 50 or 100 of them (illegal immigrants), you can call the National Guard," he said. "Put them in tents." (see article on Tom DeLay’s comments below.) Does this not hearken back to the political rhetoric our darkest hours in this nation? The internment of the Japanese? The forced reservation experience for American Indians? The conquest and colonization of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans? And slavery of West African people?

Just round ‘em up. Contain and quarantine ‘em. Imprison ‘em.

Such language has historically justified enormous atrocities from which our nation is still healing. This is the opportunistic language of division and hatemongering rather than of peace, tolerance, and reconciliation to this shamefully racist and classist legacy. The long arms of the past reach into the present with the vigilantism and threats of violence we are witnessing through the Minutemen along our borders (also see links to several articles below), as well as through attempts to eliminate the supposed “break” that House Bill 1403 (undocumented immigrant) students get from their out-of-state tuition waiver in order for them to go to college. Many, if not most, of these students have lived the bulk of their young lives in the U.S. and see themselves as American.

It is also convenient to not mention how immigrants/immigrant labor, documented and undocumented, keeps the middle class afloat in America without which serious political and economic crises would likely occur. Incalculable are the number of members of both the business community and the middle class who literally rely on this labor in order to either make ends meet or generate profit. Honest and informed dialogue, rather than inflammatory rhetoric, is not only what’s needed, but it would expose the far right’s desperate need to find a boogey man in order to not to have to deal frankly with the fundamental issue of ethnic/racial and class-based inequalities. If we really wanted to get rid of immigrant labor, all of our citizens would get paid a living wage.

Also, mark your calendars for Sat. Sept. 17 as there’s a pro-immigrant rights march at 4 PM that starts out at Riverside and Congress and goes to the capitol. If you don’t want to march, meet at the rally at the capitol between 5:30 and 7:00PM. I intend to do both with my family. I also urge the academic community to find ways to respond lest we unwittingly sanction such extremism through our non-response.

We should all be very concerned....


Please join the UT Longhorn League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council, #65533; Jovenes Inmigrantes por un Futuro
Mejor de UT Austin, Coaliciion Internacional de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, TexasCriminal JusticeCoalition's University Leadership Initiative, Casa del Inmigrate (Dallas) and grass roots groups from across the Lone Star State for a march to the south steps of the state Capitol.

Date: Saturday, September 17, 2005
March Time: 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
March Location: Riverside and Congress - Rally Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Rally Location: State Capitol building in Austin, Texas

Contacts: Julieta Garibay: 512-879-0576; Rebecca
Acuña 956-206-5853; Ana Yañez: 512-441-8123 x103 or
512-587-7010, Manuel Rodela; 214-330-0970
or 214-282-1475 Miguel Reyes 214 914-6288
Ray Ibarra; 520-440-2976

Aug. 19, 2005, 12:43AM
LULAC members dispute DeLay's immigration stance
They say the House majority leader's words are 'extreme' and run counter to laws
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

ROSENBERG - At a town-hall meeting hosted by the Houston-area LULAC, several speakers disagreed sharply with comments made recently by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who proposed a tougher stance on U.S. immigration practices.

"Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans are not bombing anything strategic in America. They are here to work," said League of United Latin American Citizens member Joel Salazar.

Salazar and others at the meeting, held at the Rosenberg Civic and Convention Center, described DeLay's comments as "extreme" and said immigrants make a positive contribution to the U.S. economy.

"The economy is fueled by their presence and performance," Salazar said.

In an Aug. 4 speech to Fort Bend County Republicans, DeLay said he does not support educating illegal immigrants or having their U.S.-born children automatically become citizens.

DeLay encouraged local police to round up illegal immigrants and said federal officials could find places to house them, even if it meant putting them in tents.

Jose Jiminez, LULAC's deputy director, said the organization disagrees with DeLay on three main points.

He said LULAC does not think illegal immigrants should be rounded up and housed in tent cities.

"Here in Harris County we don't even put our criminals who go through our justice system in tents," he said.

Joe Vail, a University of Houston law professor, said gathering up those suspected of illegal immigration poses legal problems, such as racial profiling.

"In our country you can't stop somebody and detain them unless you've got a reasonable suspicion they are doing something wrong," Vail said.

Vail said DeLay's comments about not extending citizenship to American-born children of illegal immigrants runs counter to the 14th Amendment.

LULAC supports the public education of the children of illegal immigrants, and Vail said the U.S. Supreme Court agreed.

One of the speakers was Mary Almendarez, president of LULAC Council 402, who called DeLay's remarks "racist" and "unacceptable."

"What we have here is a congressman gone wild," she said.

DeLay spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty said DeLay believes immigration to be a complex and important issue that must be addressed by Congress.

"Congressman DeLay has made his position on illegal immigration clear. We must secure our borders, enforce current federal law and not reward illegal behavior," she said.
DeLay criticizes Houston's policy on illegal immigrants
He favors idea of withholding federal funding from cities that offer 'sanctuary'
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

SUGAR LAND - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay criticized the city of
Houston's "sanctuary" policy toward illegal immigrants in a speech
Thursday night.


Speaking to a packed house of Fort Bend County Republican faithful,
DeLay said he supported the concept behind legislation introduced by
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., that would withhold federal funding
from cities such as Houston that refuse to enforce immigration law.

"It greatly concerns me that the police chief in Houston, Texas, has
created a sanctuary in Houston by announcing that he is not going to
enforce our laws," the Sugar Land Republican said, in response to a
question about Tancredo's bill.

"That is unacceptable, and we hope to address it through Tancredo's
legislation or other legislation."

Since 1992, a Houston Police Department policy has officially
forbidden officers from enforcing immigration laws in most cases.

Mayor Bill White has said he supports continuing the policy, because
he believes immigration is a federal matter and he wants to free
police up to protect the city from violent criminals.

Police in Katy also have a court-ordered policy forbidding them from
enforcing immigration laws. The order came as the result of a federal
lawsuit filed after a 1994 police operation to pick up day laborers.

DeLay, who is seen as a key player on upcoming immigration reform
legislation in Congress, said he would support a guest-worker program
that would allow immigrants to come legally to the United States and
then go home. But he said the government needs to step up enforcement
of immigration laws first.

"Before Congress takes any significant legislation, we must secure our
nation's borders," he said.

Two major proposals
Two major pieces of immigration are expected to be considered when
Congress returns in September.

One proposal, sponsored by Senators Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John
McCain, R-Ariz., would allow some illegal immigrants to work toward
becoming legal residents and then citizens of the United States.

Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Jon Kyle, R-Ariz., propose a
tougher bill that would allow illegal immigrants to become guest
workers, meaning they would have to go home after working here three
years or more.

Cornyn and Kyle also propose tougher enforcement, including increased
patrols at the border and new requirements on employers seeking to
hire workers.

DeLay indicated that he would support legislation even stricter than
Cornyn's. He does not believe illegal immigrants already in the
country should qualify, and he does not believe guest workers should
be allowed to bring their families.

Asked if he would support McCain-Kennedy, he said: "It's not going to
do very well in the House, I'll guarantee that."

Places for detainees
DeLay noted that until now, even the federal government has not
rounded up illegal immigrants in U.S. cities, because federal agents
had no place to detain them. But he said that is changing under the
new leadership at the Department of Homeland Security.

He encouraged local police to round up illegal immigrants, and
promised that the federal government will find places to house them.

"If you pick up 50 or 100 of them, you can call the National Guard,"
he said. "Put them in tents."

He also said he did not support educating illegal immigrants or having
their U.S.-born children become automatically U.S. citizens. But he
said those would be harder to repeal.

DeLay also said he strongly supports legal immigration, which he says
makes this country stronger.

He said immigration is a top issue among his constituents.

From: Southern Poverty Law Center
Reply-To: Southern Poverty Law Center
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 11:50:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Immigration Watch for Aug. 16, 2005

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An e-newsletter monitoring extremism and the anti-immigration movement

For the week of August 16, 2005

[CA] Neo-Nazis join Save Our State
Southern Poverty Law Center / August 16, 2005
Racist skinheads and other white supremacists stood side by side with
"grassroots" anti-immigration activists at a Laguna Beach

[CA] From Minuteman to congressman?
WorldNetDaily / August 10, 2005
Minuteman co-founder Jim Gilchrist is "seriously considering" a run
for Congress in California.

[NH] Anti-immigrant trespass charges thrown out
New Hampshire Union Leader / August 12, 2005
A judge ruled local police arresting Mexicans for trespassing -- by
being in the United States illegally -- unconstitutional.

[CA] Protestors, police, Tancredo converge in Carlsbad
The San Diego Union-Tribune / August 12, 2005
Congressman Tom Tancredo, Minuteman co-founder Jim Gilchrist, and a
host of other high-profile anti-immigration activists addressed a
crowd inside a school auditorium while riot police outside tried to
keep the peace.

[CT] Officials denounce hate group immigration protests
Connecticut Post / August 15, 2005
Local politicians crossed party lines to jointly condemn White
Revolution's ongoing anti-immigration campaign in Milford.

[CA] Black leaders rescind Save Our State invitation
Los Angeles Times / August 12, 2005
Citing language on the Save Our State website "calling people of color
scum and garbage," the Urban Policy Roundtable withdrew its invitation
to SOS founder Joe Turner.

[CAN] Minutemen gear up for Canada
The Globe and Mail / August 12, 2005
The Minuteman Project is organizing operations in 11 northern states
and eight Canadian provinces for October missions to protect the
United States against invaders from the north.

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Want to learn more about the anti-immigration movement? Read these
articles from the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report:

*** Blood on the Border ***
A survey of anti-immigration activity and

*** The Puppeteer ***
An investigative profile of America's most
important anti-immigration activist.

*** Open Season ***
A feature on vigilantes in Arizona.

*** The Battle of Georgiafornia ***
A feature on the hate crime
backlash against Hispanic immigrants in Georgia.

*** Arizona Showdown ***
A feature on the Minuteman Project in

Have some feedback on our newsletter?
Email us:

Immigration Watch
c/o Intelligence Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104

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